Navy diver’s rare UK high end replica Rolex sold at auction for £155,000
A rare 1970s Swiss made replica Rolex watch which had been sitting in its owner’s drawer for more than 25 years has sold for £155,000 at auction.
The government-issued UK AAA fake Rolex 5513/5517 Military Submariner dive watch had an estimated value of £80,000 to £120,000.
Starting at a £60,000 bid, the 1:1 fake Rolex sold over its expected price in about two minutes at the Bonhams auction.
The anonymous owner, from Perthshire, took the rare item to Crieff-based antique dealer Nick Brewster.
He previously described the item as “one of the rarest and one of the most collectable replica watches for sale today”.
Known as a MilSub, the Swiss movement replica Rolex was issued to a former Royal Navy diver in the 1970s by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and was bought from him by the second owner in the early 1980s.
It became his dive super clone watch until the bezel fell off in 1996 and it was stored in a chest of drawers.
Mr Brewster said the last original high quality replica Rolex MilSub sold at Bonhams made £180,000 in February.
It is thought only 1,200 of the cheap fake watches were issued between 1971 and 1979 as standard equipment by the MoD, mainly for use by Navy submariners, their leading divers and mine-clearance personnel.
It is estimated only 120 to 180 still exist.